Red Lemon Frozen Concentrate #2 : Who? Readers by Michael Vagnetti
when it is time for the final reading,
we will put you in a vice, and count the density of truths in each square inch of
type. but what use are tools when the pressure drops? what's in a name? the
overtakers of the page are so depraved: there is much to be gotten away with, no
checks, so much to answer for, no one to ask. we skipped pages, drowsed in the
margins, scribbled profundities, left characters for dead, confused connections,
faked left and went right, deserted, premeditated, misattributed, deliberated,
underthought, and lied. we left rubble as breadcrumbs for those who came
next, a trail of trampled rejoinders. when it is time, we will sign NO NAMES on the
long, undotted line.
when it is time for the final volunteering,
to each her own. supposedly we grow, and soon it comes, our moral spur: "we
want to be good humans." then why is it so hard to help people? altruism is like
a horn bursting through skin/there is another heart breaking again/again/again/
at every metronomic now/that's when. People are falling while you are typing.
Looking back over your shoulder, nearing the end, you realize that you are
always slightly ahead of these dominoes of anguish. If you write for long
enough, there will be enough extra time left over to do something in advance.
when it is time for the final listening,
there will be addictions to sounds that feel too real. it is the gauze between your
equilibrium and the end times: you tapped and jazzed, bobbed, nodded, wove,
throbbed, stomped, yearned and yowled and jammed. if they could only read
your lips: it's turning me into a zombie and it feels so good. one cell latches on, then
another, and you know how geometric progression goes. stay here: you are mass
produced for it. repeat: "a real human being." primary colors cannot be created
by mixing other colors, but primary sounds can. there will be no cacophony/
only/one long track of slurry/of what we hear/and what we run away
when it is time for the final lovemaking,
his eyes are sweating/don't look in/there is no pocket in your shared skin/to
keep the words from getting heavy. reading together, he was the one that could
tell when you were ready to turn the page. his gaze turned it, so gentle for your
fingerprints. did you know that bile doesn't sound that foul/sometimes/better
than vowel. turn the pillow and there are the banished words: temerity, rancor.
the springs just might pierce the sheets - and there aren't any springs. sleepwear
is intended to fit snugly, his eyes are like lanced blisters, and memory is getting
closer to the real thing.
when it is time for the final platforms to globalize,
everyone disallows comments eventually, since bullet holes dent the
veneer. what people think is valuable is what gets passed on, and people have
filthy judgment. a boot, typing on a human face forever? keep your rank clothes
on/bring your thumbs-up-in-a-box/we will start an arson in the
dark/unrecognizable animals move forward out of hiding/with cheekbones like
Gary Snyder. talking has begun to hurt my devices. pretend that we are
behaving like a species that demonstrates longevity.
when it is time for the final drawer in the mausoleum to slide,
do you know that morning cigar the old trees smoke/they stub it out on the long
meadow/tinted like mist/time is a catastrophe that sweeps across us/like
geography that's pissed. we are hoping for something like a sandstorm to keep
us safe from fame. something to cover up the glut the words, pages,
volumes/while all the jokers stepped away for ice, croquet, disease/you could
be a butler/please/that keeps the stone unswept/as time does speechless things.
when it is time for the final writing,
we are programmed to keep it enigmatic, reading. so we always put the book
back in the same place, in a drawer with the birth certificates. it is too easy, and
too dangerous, like crossing over: all symbols are on the side of a sarcophagus.
there are very few who have described what it is actually like. it is time. you don't
have to pretend that you know what a coda feels like anymore. you don't have
to wish for street cred, or lacerations, a safe chance at being incarcerated, or
escaping an act of treason. you don't have to applaud. no one's listening/no one
you say/no one to lean on/you liked to cheat that way/in a book there is no need
for a ocean view/there is only occupancy for one/there is only you.
Michael Vagnetti writes criticism and poetry and has a BA Honors in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He lives in Brooklyn. You can connect with him at:http://about.me/mvagnetti